‘‘Riding a bike is something I have always loved doing from the first moment I was able to!
I recall crashing into a neighbours rosebushes on a green bike as soon as my stabilisers were removed… on from that my metallic green Raleigh Racer road bike was a joy to take on the road camping in the surrey hills with pals. More recently I have taken to it as my son, Oliver and Architectural friends encouraged me to get back on the bike at the age of 48, so off I went bought a Trek road bike and never looked back; cycling for charity often once or twice a year the financial beneficiaries of these endeavours being The Coram Foundation to Cannes for the MIPIM event, and The blue Marine foundation to Monaco for the Boat show, (photo of the finale below) and of course myself in physical terms! We get to see some great Architecture and tase some lovely food in the bargain.
I also love heritage bicycles and take part in the annual L’Eroica ride (Hero’s ride!) cycling event in the Tuscan hills on the first weekend of October, when cyclists from all over the world gather in Gaiole in Chianti, (photo below).
They say ‘cycling sets you free’ – I think that’s a lovely way to see it as you cannot really think about much else especially when you are in a peloton it’s a team effort of concentration and perseverance. So me it’s all about Fun, Fitness and Charity.
During LD1 a group of us N2B2C (never too busy to cycle) formed an initiative to encourage more cyclists onto the road, for fun and commuting to work, and we got to speak to the mayor of London’s transport team who were very receptive, London is a challenge as 33 boroughs individually own the roads, so a concerted centralised effort of making cycle lanes is challenging as they all have to agree! The City of London has made great strides by quickly introducing cycle lanes in the narrow medieval street pattern.
What does the future hold? Hopefully with the increased awareness of our environment and the benefits of clean air more people will adopt various forms of cycling, form all creeds and backgrounds, its simply great for you!
The city of London is already fast adopting cargo bikes and has for years found cycle couriers to be an efficient way of delivering small parcels and letters – cargo bikes in particular can carry people as well as goods and will significantly humanise our streets reducing the need for vans to enter the congested city zone.
The other photos are taken of me in lockdown in the hallway at home and another earlier one with John Norden a fellow Coram Cyclist in fancy dress for the Annual city of London cycle.’’
Chris Dyson, RIAS, RIBA, FRS